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Research Project 3

Moving Florida Waste Management Forward: Increasing Recycling Rate through Intergovernmental Collaborations across Local and County Governments

Project Overview

This study is designed to inform county level officials and managers decisions related to waste management by identifying the influence of various programs and actions on county level recycling and how county characteristics and coordination with cities within the counties can enhance or suppress the performance impacts. Evidence from methodologically rigorous retrospective analyses of county recycling performance will produce specific policy advice to reduce municipal solid waste and/or to increase recycling rates. The role of county director as coordinator of intergovernmental collaboration across local governments is expected to be very important especially in highly populated urban counties with fragmented environment of local governance in Florida.

Research Objectives

This project aims,

1. To establish a database on Florida counties and cities' introduction of innovative recycling programs over the last 10 years;

2. To evaluate the effectiveness of those programs on recycling rate growth;

3. To analyze how recycling program management and implementation strategies affect the county level recycling rate;

4. To identify community socio-economic characteristics that affect residential and commercial recycling participation under given recycling programs;

5. To separate residential and commercial recycling rates; to identify effective recycling strategies for residential and commercial recycling performance respectively;

6. To compare the recycling strategies and performance in large counties (100,000 + population) and small counties (less than 100,000 population); and

7. To provide county decision makers specific policy advice based on statistical evidence on which programs are effective or ineffective under what specific circumstances.

Practical Benefits for End Users

1. A comprehensive database for Florida counties and municipalities' recycling programs, which can be used by county directors, recycling consultants, residents, and academic researchers.

2. Examination of the effectiveness of county recycling programs in increasing recycling rates while all other factors being held constant, which enables county waste management directors to figure out where the increase or decrease of annual recycling rate comes from.

3. Examination of the relationship between the county efforts for intergovernmental collaboration and the performance of recycling activities.

4. Visualization of county and local level recycling performance and management strategies.

5. Provision of policy advice regarding the most effective current recycling programs, residential and commercial recycling behavior that local and county governments may alter to increase recycling rates.